A beach club in Mexico has apologized after a bikini-clad tourist and her boyfriend were arrested for not buying drinks from the club’s bar on a strip of beach that the venue alleges is part of their private property.
On Sunday, a man and woman were handcuffed by police at Mamitas Beach Club in Playa del Carmen for hanging out on the shore, but not purchasing anything from the club’s bar. Video footage of the arrest has since gone viral on Twitter, with over 11,000 views.
In the clip, a group of police is seen surrounding the couple as they pack up their belongings in a towel. The woman resists being handcuffed and cries, while her shirtless partner seemingly complies with the authorities.
According to The Sun, local media reported that the beach club alleges to exclusively own the portion of the beach area where the tourists were arrested, though locals have argued that the beach is federal property where all are welcome.
“The beaches in Mexico are NOT private Mamitas Beach, they are [for] all Mexicans. Enough of treating nationals like trash!” the Twitter user who posted the arrest video said.
The woman was reportedly left bleeding from the forceful arrest, The Sun reports.
The next day, a spokesperson for the beach club apologized for the incident and offered further details on Facebook. The message has since been widely circulated, with over 6,600 shares and 2,800 comments
“Mamitas Beach Club regrets the events that took place last Sunday, Feb. 16 as the mission of our company is to make our national and international visitors feel at home, always providing a friendly and courteous treatment,” they began, per a translation.
“On Feb. 16, a couple set out to sunbathe in a service area that deliberately exists for the operation as it is used by our visitors and service personnel, so they were cordially invited to relocate. They also were shown the area on the beach where they could sit comfortably and enjoy,” the rep claimed.
“It should be clarified that our staff approached several times to ask them to move and the reaction we got from them were high-sounding words and threats. At the time of the arrival of the officers, our staff left the scene leaving the situation in their hands, we do not know the real reasons why the couple were arrested,” they said. “We appreciate your attention and hope with this to clarify this misunderstanding and to continue contributing with positive actions to our society.”
Some locals, however, feel that the remorse isn’t sufficient. Facebook users from Playa del Carmen are said to be organizing a protest next Sunday, gathering for a picnic to raise awareness of the Feb. 16 incident and Mexico’s residents’ right to access national beaches, per Mexico News Daily.
In a related headline from earlier this month, police in the Maldives apologized for how authorities handled the arrest of a tourist detained for “indecent exposure” at a public beach after video of the incident went viral — for all the wrong reasons — on social media.
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